Cain questions Fair Trading Commissioner’s alleged conflict of interest


A concerning potential conflict of interest was raised in Annual Reports hearings today regarding the involvement of the Fair-Trading Commissioner of the ACT, Derise Cubin in current legal proceedings against the office of the Commissioner for Fair Trading, on a matter involving her partner, David Snowden, the former Commissioner for Fair Trading.

In her capacity as Fair-Trading Commissioner, Ms Cubin is alleged to have attended a mediation meeting in July 2021 and provided instructions to the ACT Government Solicitor in a civil matter relating to the Office of Fair Trading and the conduct of Mr Snowden.

The Attorney-General responded apprehensively to Shadow Attorney-General Peter Cain’s line of questioning, acknowledging the seriousness of the situation and confirming he is seeking advice from the Office of Fair Trading and the ACT Government Solicitor’s Office.

Ms Cubin was also present at the hearing but when asked by Mr Cain if she provided any advice on the matter prior to declaring the conflict, she responded ‘no comment’.

“This is an incredibly serious situation and is another indictment on this Labor-Greens government’s persistent lack of competence, and integrity,” Mr Cain said.

“The Attorney-General sat on his hands for months while Ms Cubin allegedly advised the ACT Government Solicitor on the conduct of the person at the centre of the claim, who is her partner and predecessor, only declaring her conflict in November 2021 when it became unavoidable.

“The Attorney-General must consider taking strong action to demonstrate his commitment to integrity in government and accountability in the public sector.

“This situation is extremely concerning and Canberrans deserve better from their government,” Mr Cain concluded.